How To Prepare For A Digital Interview (With Advantages)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 24 October 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

A digital or video interview is a virtual process where candidates and hiring managers interact through a video chat service. Online interviews allow companies and hiring managers to connect with many candidates and hire suitable employees for their organisation. Learning about the virtual interview process can help you prepare for such a consultation and offer your best performance during the exchange. In this article, we explain what a digital interview is, outline its advantages and describe how to prepare for one:

What Is A Digital Interview?

A hiring manager may conduct a digital interview to interact with potential candidates via a webcam or candidates might record themselves answering questions. The two types of virtual interviews include:

Live online interview

Employers connect with candidates through a video chat for the duration of the interview. It is similar to an in-person interview, except the company organises it virtually. Such online interviews may test your body language, your ability to respond to follow-up questions relevant to your industry and your confidence when answering.

Recorded interview

During the prerecorded process, candidates sit in front of their device and answer questions on the screen by clicking on the record button to respond. Sometimes hiring managers ask the questions and record your answers. They then review the prerecorded answers instead of conducting a live interview.

Related: Video Interview Guide: Tips For A Successful Interview

How To Prepare For A Digital Interview?

You can follow these simple steps to prepare for your upcoming virtual interview:

1. Read the interview instructions carefully

Employers might send you instructions for the video interview. These may outline which video service to use, when you can expect to receive the link, the background setting and dress code. It is beneficial to read instructions carefully and arrange your set-up accordingly for an efficient interview process. If the interview is to be prerecorded online, confirm whether it is you or the hiring manager who is recording it and check the instructions for recording when a question appears on the screen. Interviewers may examine several videos a day, so make the process easier for all by following the guidelines.

2. Check equipment

You can use a computer, tablet or mobile device to attend or record a video interview. Reliable equipment is essential for conveying your answers efficiently. Choose a gadget you are comfortable with and ensure it has good camera quality.

Check your internet connection is stable and charge your device before the interview starts. Before recording the video, check that your webcam and microphone function properly. Usually, video call apps allow you to check the video quality before the call. Test the equipment you may use during the interview to avoid technical issues.

Related: How To Succeed In A Virtual Interview

3. Test audio, visual and lighting functions

The audio, visual and lighting functions are essential for enhancing video quality. For better audio, select a quiet location to carrying out the interview. Switch off any fans and electrical equipment that may produce noise and avoid any unnecessary sound in the video. You can use earbuds or a portable video microphone for better audio quality. Focus on the camera placement to improve the quality of your visuals. It is advisable to keep your camera a few feet away and ensure your device is at eye level.

Candidates can use a stack of books or a box to place their device at their height level. If you are using a mobile device, a tripod can help with stabilisation. Consider angling your camera slightly downwards to provide an ideal image of you, allowing the interviewer to examine your body language. For better lighting, place yourself in front of a window, as natural lighting is an excellent choice to enhance video quality. If this is not possible, place lights behind or on either side of your device to avoid lighting that is overbright and distorted video quality.

4. Decide background setting

Select a blank wall or plain background for a professional setting. It is also important to choose a clean location that provides good lighting for the video. Some video chat services offer background features for interviews, so choose a suitable one if this is available. A professional background can enhance your mood and demonstrate your personality in the video. Presenting a clean and formal location allows the interviewer to focus on you and avoid distractions during the process.

5. Select formal clothing

Choose your attire as you would for a formal in-person interview. Wearing appropriate interview clothes can make you feel confident and appear professional. You can research the company culture to determine their dress standards and select appropriately.

Typically, it is better to wear business casuals and select colours that look good on camera. A good choice is often a white shirt with a tie or a smart blouse, with or without a jacket. Although you may be visible only from your waist up, full professional attire is important to show respect for the job and the interview process.

Related: Tips For A Successful Skype Interview

6. Practice in front of the camera

Practice your body language, including hand gestures and head movements and monitor how you talk in front of the camera to understand how you may appear to the interviewer. This may help you improve the camera's audio, visual and lighting settings and is a good way to build confidence for the upcoming interview.

Conduct a mock video interview several times before the actual interview. You may ask a friend to assist you during this process to ensure you feel comfortable communicating in front of a camera. You can record yourself answering common interview questions, such as ‘tell me about yourself ' or ‘why do you want this job? ' Video interviews have a proper structure and hiring managers might ask candidates similar questions. Practice can help you present your answers clearly during the interview.

7. Research the company's background

To understand your job description, study the company's history and the products and services it offers. This can help you analyse how you may contribute to the organisation. Hiring managers may ask questions about their products or how they can solve current issues in their organisation. You can visit the company's website and social media pages to learn about its strengths and challenges and its competitors. Understanding whom you are interviewing for can help you prepare better for any tricky interview questions.

8. Prepare essential documents or notes in advance

Keep your resume and other important documents related to the job on your desktop for easy access if the interviewer asks you to share them after the interview. Prepare your interview notes regarding the job description, company and common interview questions and place them near you throughout. If you feel nervous or confused about questions, your notes can help. Try creating an environment where you are confident in front of the camera. It can make you appear natural to the interviewer.

Related: Advice For An Online Job Interview: A Definitive Guide

Advantages Of A Digital Interview

Virtual interviews are beneficial for both employers and candidates. While the process may allow hiring managers to interview several candidates a day, it also saves candidates time and can make them feel more comfortable in front of the camera. Here are the main benefits of virtual interviews:

Offer flexibility

You can attend video interviews from anywhere as long as there is internet access and a camera device. Online interviewing may also increase the number of candidates a company can interview, which improves the chances of employers hiring the highest calibre applicant. Prerecorded interview questions allow for flexible scheduling, as you can choose where and when to answer.

Related: Tips From A Recruiter: Mastering The Virtual Interview

Save costs

Companies can save costs by adopting video interview formats. They can interview many candidates in a day and reduce the hiring time to avoid incurring losses from vacant positions. When candidates attend in-person interviews, employers may arrange refreshments and transport for all involved. As this is unnecessary with video interviewing, companies make further cost savings.

Related: 12 Essential Virtual Interviewing Tips For Hiring Managers

Provide an inclusive and consistent hiring process

Virtual interviewing promotes diversity by allowing all eligible candidates to apply for a job role. It helps candidates with disabilities and those living at a distance to make the interview process fair and consistent. As hiring teams record interviews, they can then review these files with other team members to gain further insight, which might improve the chances of selecting candidates with the right skills for the job.

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